The world is beckoning you: it’s time to pack up the car and head out on the open road! Summer is an excellent time to travel, and it’s an even better time to explore this beautiful country via its long and winding interstate highways. But, before you embark on a journey across hundreds or thousands of miles, you must be absolutely sure that your car is ready for an extra long haul. Some of us have learned the hard way– there’s nothing worse than running into car trouble in the middle of a road trip!
How can you make sure your faithful vehicle is ready for a long trip? Follow these simple steps:
1. Take it in for a tune up.
Contact your local mechanic’s shop and ask them perform the necessary routine maintenance. Tell them how many miles you plan to tack on to your odometer, and have them:
- check and/or change the oil
- make sure your battery is charged and the alternator is working properly
- inspect all belts
- check and/or change windshield wipers
- check and/or change air filters
- make sure your brake pads and rotors are in good condition
- inspect the radiator for any cracks or leaks
- top off fluid levels– especially coolant. (You might take some extra coolant with you just to be safe.)
At this time your mechanic will also be able to detect any glaring problems that you may not be aware of, which can be taken care of before you leave. Making sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape before you hit the road means that you will have less risk of surprise repairs or unwanted breakdowns in the middle of your trip.
2. Check your tires.
Out on the open road, your tires are key. If you take off with bad tires you’re practically asking for a blowout. So, inspect them very closely for any gouges, bulges, and tears, and do your quarter test to make sure they have a decent amount of tread left. Check the air pressure and look for uneven wear. If you need to, have your tires rotated and/or aligned.
3. Prepare for anything and everything.
Always be prepared for emergencies or unexpected situations when you’re taking a road trip. Bring supplies that you think you might need, such as a flashlight, an extra set of keys, blankets, first-aid kits, water, a spare tire, jumper cables… and SNACKS. When you’re on a road trip, unexpected disasters can occur and you may not be in an area that offers exactly what you need. So, be sure that you’re prepared to handle anything – just in case.
Last of all, sit back and enjoy the ride! Be safe and follow the rules of the road. Stop if you’re tired to rest, and try to be patient. Road trips are more about the journey! Even though it may take a little longer to arrive at your desired destination, a road trip is well worth it – it’s an adventure that you’ll remember for a long time!
We’re here to help you get your car road-trip ready! Drive on down to the shop anytime, no appointment necessary!